Businessman will seek bail to detox
A prominent Taranaki businessman in custody on serious drug charges is seeking to be bailed to a treatment centre to detox.
Lauchlan MacMillan, owner of the region’s branch of the building company Fowler Homes, has been in prison since his arrest on October 22, when police executed a series of busts targeting the sale of class A drug methamphetamine.
The 42-year-old applied for bail a few days into his custody but it was declined.
MacMillan faces seven charges of supplying meth, three of possessing the drug, one of driving at a dangerous speed and a new charge of conspiracy to deal meth. He has yet to plead.
Yesterday, he reappeared via audio visual link in the New Plymouth District Court where his lawyer, Andrew Laurenson, withdrew a bail application for electronic monitoring and said he would be applying to have his client released to a treatment centre based in Auckland. Laurenson sought a remand for two weeks to allow for discussion with police about suitable bail conditions, which could potentially include not being able to leave the facility.
Judge David Cameron said it was in MacMillan’s and the community’s best interest for him to attend the residential programme to address his drug issues. He remanded the matter until November 22 when the bail application would be addressed. If granted, MacMillan would leave prison for the facility that same day.
MacMillan’s journey to custody began on Labour Day after the region’s organised crime group swooped on multiple addresses, seizing drugs, cash and vehicles.
Police cordoned off the Fowler Homes Taranaki offices, at the intersection of State Highway 3 and Corbett Rd, Bell Block, and seized his luxury sports car, a black 2017 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. In September, MacMillan appeared in court for allegedly driving at a dangerous speed along a Hawke’s Bay road on March 10, 2018. Kevin Ronald Bishell, 37, of Waitara, has also been charged in connection with the driving incident.
It is alleged Bishell encouraged MacMillan to drive at speed.
In an unrelated matter, Bishell has also been accused of killing a Taranaki teenager in a car crash in August.
He was driving a Fowler Homes Taranaki vehicle at the time.